Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Brian Sweeney has been the author of “Here’s the Scoop” for more than 20 years. The column usually deals with the lighter side of life and the writer has been known to mix a bit of fiction in with the facts. Brian has received six awards for his column in the annual New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

Here's the Scoop: March 6, 2013

Stay out of the woods
The response to last week’s column about my wife and me getting set to dip our toes into the sweet realm of backyard maple sugar production was a bit overwhelming.

You could say that folks came “out of the woodwork” with suggestions and really scary stories about the perils of the pursuit of maple syrup. It’s always nice to get some free advice.
Insights, of course, are about the only thing that’s “free” when it comes to syrup production. Nearly everyone I spoke to started off the conversation with the question, “Do you have…?”


Here's the Scoop: February 27, 2013

Stepping back in time
It’s been many years since I last took an active role in producing a bit of Catskill Mountain maple syrup, but I’m getting ready to give it another crack.

My first experience with syrup production occurred when I was quite small. One neighborhood family used to tap the series of sturdy maples that lined our street. Four large trees in front of our house were part of the supply, so the local kids helped with the task.


Here's the Scoop: February 13, 2013

Winter film festival time
At some point last Friday, it started becoming clear that maybe the blizzard forecast calling for 18-24 inches of snow in the Catskill Region was just a bit “overblown.” Or is that “underblown”?
Like practically everyone else in the northeast, I took plenty of peeks at the weather forecast in the days leading to “the event.” One-and-a-half to-two-feet of snow is lot to handle. Folks living a bit to the east can vouch for that sentiment.


Here's the Scoop: February 6, 2013

Things are looking Shark®
As a general rule, I don’t put a lot of stock in items that are primarily sold via “cheesy” television ads or infomercials. You know, the type where there’s some over-caffeinated spokesperson practically yelling in glee about the greatness of the product being hawked. So good, in fact, that you can now get two of product XYZ for only $19.95.


Here's the scoop: January 30, 2013

Popular topic
There are some topics that simply aren’t spoken about in polite company. Fortunately, I’m not always polite. Plus, I’m “talking” about it in writing.

As a result, today’s topic will be mice. For the most part, mice are not desirable creatures. Sure, some folks own mice for pets. However, most of us refer to these creatures as “pests” not pets.